This summer marks NASPO’s third iteration of the internship program, created in April 2017. We are pleased to report that we have now put more than thirty students through our program in thirteen different states. The interns from NASPO academic partner schools live in the cities where their internship is held during the summer and take part in public procurement projects. The NASPO internship program is just one way we are working to combat the workforce shortage so many of our states are facing. Are you interested in participating in an internship program? Click below to keep reading about the NASPO sponsored internship program!
The NASPO internship program was created as a model to help interested states begin their own internship programs. States participating in this program recruit students from NASPO academic partner institutions across the country. The program is designed to benefit our states in providing the support and resources needed to create an internship program from the ground up. Dianne Lancaster, NASPO Chief Learning Officer adds, “With our NASPO internship program, we have offered a model for states to use in creating their own unique programs to draw students into public procurement offices.” NASPO has many resources available to the public on our website, including the Internship Toolkit (updated May 2019), and the member-facing internship community on the NASPO Network.
This program not only benefits our members but also our academic partner schools. NASPO provides their students with internship opportunities where they can get real-world public sector experience. While students have access to many internships in the private sector, paid internships in the public sector are more rare. Supporting these initiatives helps our academic partners by giving their students access to public sector opportunities!
Though the NASPO internship program has grown since its inception in 2017, it is not meant to fund 50 programs each summer. The goal of our program is to provide the initial funding program and give states the experience necessary for them to independently support their internship program. “In order for the NASPO internship program to work as intended, we need new state interest every summer. Our goal is to help all interested states set up a flourishing internship program that they can sustain year after year in their state office”, says Lancaster. Ideally, a state participates in the program one or two times to set the framework for a program in their office, with the help of NASPO funding and staff support. After completing one cycle of the program, it is much easier to host an intern(s) in future years. Steps like talking with your Human Resources team about how your state classifies and pays interns, preparing project ideas and setting up an intern workspace only needs to happen once. When these steps are complete, your office can easily repeat the process each summer. Participating in an internship program involves some preparation year to year but is much more easily repeatable once you proceed past the pilot phase.
Are you ready to recruit up and coming talent in public procurement? NASPO is ready to support you in making those goals reality! If you are interested in learning more about the NASPO Internship Program, please join us for theInternship Introduction Webinar, Tuesday, August 20, 1 pm ET. Registration is not required, and the webinar will be recorded for those who are unable to attend.